The Candy Shop War: Arcade Catastrophe
Shadow Mountain, 2012
From the dust jacket: “Something fishy is going on at the new amusement center in Walnut Hills. The trouble seems linked to the mysterious disappearance of Mozag and John Dart, who have spent their lives policing the magical community. When Nate and his friends are asked to help investigate, they discover kids feverishly playing arcade games in an effort to win enough tickets to redeem one of four stamps: jet, tanks, submarines and racecars.
“Rumor has it that the stamps are definitely worth it. But what do they do?
“The kids soon discover that the owner of Arcadeland is recruiting members for four different clubs. When each club is filled, he will begin his quest to retrieve a magical talisman of almost unimaginable power. With John Dart and Mozag sidelined, will Nate, Summer, Trevor, Pigeon and their new friend, Lindy, find a way to save the day? Find out in this sweetest adventure ever!”
In this sequel to The Candy Shop War our heroes have another evil magician to defeat and save the world!! It’s all about the magician gaining the power of the Uweya – whatever that is. And no one really knows what it is except that an extremely powerful (and long dead) magician created it and it holds the power to control the world. In the final chapters of the book, after many hair-raising adventures, we finally find out what Uweya is and it’s a doozy. Very original and I’m so glad magic like that only exists in books and our imaginations!!
There’s non-stop action and, like the first book, there is a lot of rule-breaking (including lying, theft, kidnapping, and destruction of private property). There is also some violence between the kids (to each other) and between the kids and the villains. Some are hurt but they recover and while the hero-kids have parents who are unwittingly drugged and therefore ineffective, there are some adults who are wise and offer positive guidance. As I said with the first book, elementary & middle grades will enjoy this book.
Rating 4 out of 5 paws because although evil does its best to win the battle, good ultimately triumphs and the main hero (Nate) shows strength of character to do the right thing when the time comes.